48 This is what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies and God of Israel, has to say about Moab.
Next is Moab, a familiar enemy of Israel. Despite Jeremiah’s warning they will answer for their trust in themselves, their material wealth, and their god Chemosh.
Eternal One: Woe to the city of Nebo, for she is in ruins.
So, too, will Kiriathaim be put to shame when she is captured.
The proud fortress of Moab will be humbled and shattered into pieces.
2 No one will praise you, Moab—that time has gone.
Instead, in places like Heshbon, men are planning your destruction.
“Come,” they will say, “and let us finish off that nation.”
Indeed, the town of Madmen will be silenced,
for war will surely find you.
3 Do you hear the voice from Horonaim—
the cries rising up from the ruins and desolation?
4 Moab is broken,
and her little ones cry in desperation.
5 The defeated make their way up Luhith, crying bitterly as they go;
as they descend to Horonaim, they hear the anguished cries of destruction.
6 Run for your lives! Save yourselves!
Live in the desert like a juniper bush, alone and forsaken.
7 You depended on your own works and your own wealth,
and now you will be humbled and taken captive.
Your so-called god, Chemosh, will go with you into exile
along with his priests and officials.
8 The destroyer is coming to each of your towns; none of them will escape.
The valley will be ruined;
The plateau will be destroyed
because I, the Eternal One, have spoken.
9 Give Moab wings so she can fly away.
Her cities will be a wasteland with no one living in them.
10 A curse on any who do not finish the work I, the Eternal One, have given you! A curse on anyone who holds back his sword and refuses to shed blood.
11 Moab has been at rest since his early days—
like wine that is carefully left to age,
Not poured from jar to jar,
not going from nation to nation in exile.
And so his flavor has remained; his aroma has not faded.
12 But all of that will change. Look, in the coming days, I, the Eternal One, declare that I will send those who will upend him, stirring him up and pouring him out until his jars have nothing left. They will empty his jars and smash the empty jugs.
13 Then Moab will be ashamed of his powerless god, Chemosh, just as the people of Israel were ashamed of Bethel when they trusted in their false gods.
14 Eternal One: How can you still boast,
“We are mighty warriors, brave in battle?”
15 Because Moab is destroyed;
invaders have laid waste his towns.
His best young men have gone down to slaughter.
So say I, the King whose name is the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.
16 The fall of Moab is at hand;
his disaster is coming quickly.
17 Grieve for him, you neighbors of Moab,
all who know his name.
Say, “Look how his mighty scepter is broken,
how the splendor of his staff is gone!”
18 You people of Dibon, come down from your glory on the hills
and sit on the dry, dusty ground and wait,
For the same one who destroyed Moab
is coming against you and will tear down your strongholds as well.
19 Stand by the road and watch closely,
you people of Aroer.
Call out to the refugees running from Moab.
Ask them what happened!
20 And they will answer: “Moab has been humiliated and crushed.
Weep for him, and cry out.
Go down to the Arnon River and
proclaim that Moab has been destroyed.”
21 Judgment has come to the cities of the plain: to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath; 22 to Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim; 23 to Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon; 24 to Kerioth and Bozrah. To all the cities of Moab, far and near, judgment has come.
Eternal One: 25 The symbols of his strength are gone; the horn of Moab has been cut off, and his arm broken.
26 Make Moab drink deeply from this cup until he is drunk, for he has exalted himself above the Eternal. Make him drink until he wallows in his own vomit; then he will be ridiculed by all who see him. 27 Did you not ridicule Israel? Was he guilty of a crime? Was he caught among thieves? Is that why you, Moab, shake your head in contempt every time you speak of him?
28 Eternal One: Run from your towns and live in the wilderness,
you citizens of Moab;
Hide among the rocks
like doves who nest among the cliffs.
29 We have all heard about the pride of Moab—
so vain and so smug.
We have all heard about her pride and arrogance
and her overconfident heart.
30 I, too, know of the arrogant outbursts, but they are pointless;
empty boasts accomplish nothing.
31 This is why I will mourn for Moab; for all her people, I will cry aloud;
for the men of Kir-heres, I will moan.
32 You who tend the prolific vineyards in Sibmah,
I will cry for you more than I did for Jazer.
Your vines once spread as far as the sea, as far as the sea of Jazer.
But now the destroyer has spoiled your summer harvest and sweet grapes.
33 The joy of the harvest is gone from Moab’s orchards and vineyards.
For I have stopped the flow of wine; no one treads the grapes.
The land is full of shouting, but they are not shouts of joy.
34 The anguish of their cries rises from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz, from Zoar all the way to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah; for even the waters of Nimrim will dry up.
Eternal One: 35 I will put an end to idol worship in Moab, to those who make offerings on shrines in high places and burn incense to so-called gods.
36 Like the somber sound of a flute, my heart mourns for Moab. My heart mourns for the men of Kir-heres, for everything they had is gone.
37 For every head is shaved, and every beard is cut short;
every hand is cut, and every waist is wrapped in sackcloth.
38 Eternal One: On every rooftop in Moab and on every street corner,
there is nothing but mourning
Because I have smashed Moab like a jar that no one wants.
39 How broken he is! How the people wail!
How the once-proud Moab turns away in shame!
See how Moab has become a laughingstock
and a horror to all his neighbors.
40 Eternal One: Look in the distance: an eagle will swoop down
and spread his wings over Moab, his prey.
41 The cities will be captured and the strongholds seized.
On that day the heart of Moab’s warriors
Will be like the heart of a woman in labor—helpless and vulnerable.
42 The nation of Moab will be no more
because he dares to defy the Eternal.
43 Terror and traps and snares lie ahead, O citizens of Moab.
44 Eternal One: If you run from the terror, you will fall into a pit.
If you climb out of the pit, you will be caught in a trap.
There is no escape, for I will bring these disasters against Moab;
the year of their judgment has come at last.
45 Run if you will, but in Heshbon’s shadow the refugees are helpless.
Look! A fire rages from Heshbon; destroying flames leap from Sihon;
They consume the northern regions of Moab
and destroy his clamoring rebels.
46 Woe to you, O Moab! Worshipers of Chemosh are destroyed;
your sons are sent away, your daughters taken captive.
47 But even so, in latter times the day will come
when I will restore the fortunes of Moab.
This is the end of Jeremiah’s oracle of judgment against Moab.